The story Nalacharitham is written by "Unnai Varier". It is the romantic story of unlimited love between Nala and Damayanthi. The story is such a big one that it is desighed to perform in four nights. The first day is till the marriage of Nala and Damayanthi. The second day is till Damayanthi reaches her father's palace, the third day is till Nala reaches Damayanthi's palace and the fourth day is Nala again gets back his Kingdom. I am sure that those who don't know Nalacharitham, this is vague. So we will see the complete Nala-Damayanthi story.
In Nalacharitham first day, the main charecters are:
Nala - Paccha
Sage Narada - Minukku (Maharshi)
Hamsam(The gold swan) - Special dress with yellow color dress, wings and beak
Damayanthi - Minukku (Lady)
Friends of Damayanthi - Minukku (Lady)
Yama -Kurum Kathi
Agni -Special red color dress
Saraswathi -Minukku (Lady with a crown)
Even though I have written so many charecters above, you may not see all of them generally.
Nala, the king of Nishadha is famous for his good charecters. He is very generous, kind and affectionate towards the people in his country. He is handsome too. One day Sage Narada arrives at his palace. Nala with great respect and fear, welcomed him and asked him about the reason behind that arrival. Sage Narada mentioned about Damayanthi, the beautiful daughter of King Bhima. He also mentioned that she is well suited to him as his wife. Then sage left from the palace. Nala, who already heard about Damayanthi before from others, now become more affected. His love towards her increased and he is not able to do any work. So he gave the administration responsibilties to his ministers and left to sit alone for some time.
Nala tried to do many activites like doing some instruments, but everything ended up in thinking of Damayanthi. Then he decided to go to the garden. In garden the mell of flowers, the cacophony of birds etc irritates him. At that moment he saw a lot of swans in the pond. He got some sort of relaxation by seeing the swans and he noticed that one golden color swan sleeps on one corner of the pond lonely. Its body is completely gold in color. Nala slowly catched the swan using his hand and the swan woke up with a shock. It tried to flew away from there, but was already in Nala's hand. The swan started crying. the swan told that because of the gold on its body, Nala is not foing to become rich. Nala is surprised when he hear the voice of the swan. It speaks just like a human. The swan also added that its father is died, he is the only son, his wife and children will become widow and orphans. then Nala told him that he don't want to kill the swan. He caught the swan out of curiosity and Nala freed the swan. The swan flew away. Nala again started thinking about Damayanthi. Soon the swan came back and started showing the symbols of affection towards Nala. The swan then told like this,"Hey Nala, I haven't seen such a generous person in my life time. You are a very good personality. As you let me free, I would like to do a favour for you. Damayanthi, the daughter of Bhima is a beautiful princess and she will be the best suite for you. I will do the necessory things for your marriage". Nala replied him to do the needful at the earliest and the swan flew away towards Damayanthi.
The case of Damayanthi was not different. She heard about the good charecteristics of Nala from many people and she was also thinking only about him. Damayanthi along with her friends came to the garden and played for some time. Then she told her friends that she wanted to greturn to the palace. Then her friends replied,"When we were in the palace you told that you want to go to garden, when we are in the garden, you are telling that you want to go to palace. What is this? You see there are beutiful flowers here and very sweets sounds of birds etc.". But for her the smell of flowers and the sound of birds were irritating.
When they were about to return from there,
they saw a brightness on the sky. One of her friends has the opinion that it is the lightning coming down to the earth. Then the other one expressed that it is not lightning, but moon is coming down to the earth. Then Damayanthi told with enthusiasm that it is a Golden Swan which is
flying down towards the ground. She was very happy to see it. She liked the swan and desired to get it. Whenever Damayanthi comes near the swan, it expressed its obedience, whereas whenever her friends came near the swan, it irritated them. So Damayanthi told her friends to go away from there so that she can catch the swan.
Then Damayanthi tried to catch it, but whenever she felt that she caught it, it flew away from her. Thus the intelligent swan diverted her away from her friends and then told her this," Hey do you think you can catch me who flys in the sky? Even though you are young, your childish behaviour is still there. The elder people will blame you for your childish behaviour. I am living in Nala's country teaching ladies "Annannada" (walking of swan) as per the order of Lord Brahma." She was very happy to hear that the swan is from Nala's country. She expressed her desire to know more about Nala and thus the swan understood that she loves Nala. He praised Nala about his good character and also told that Nala and Damayanthi is like Perl and Gold. Also he told that just like Vishnu for Lakshmi, Moon for night, and Siva for Parvathi, Nala is for Damayanthi. Before leaving from there, Swan want to assure the love of Damayanthi. So he told like this, " What if your father gives you to somebody and you also likes him. Then whatever told today will be invain and people will call me useless fellow". Damayanthi replied," Hey swan, why did you have a doubt in your mind. A river flowing will ultimately join sea, a mountain will not think in some other way. Like that my father will not think of somebody else as my husband."
With that the swan left the place. Usually only these much is played nowadays. But the sory has much more. In short, Swan will come back near Nala and will tell about all the incidents happend. Meanwhile heavenly people like Indra who loves Damayanthi will approch Nala and will tell him to go near Damayanthi and tell he to marry one amoung them. Nala reluctantly obeyed their order. Also he got the magical pwer of not being seen by anybody for doing this job from Indra. But Damayanthi informed him that she will marry only Nala. Knowing this, all Devas took the form of Nala on the marriage day. Damayanthi got confused by this and she prayed Saraswathi. Saraswathi appeared before her and informed that the person who touches
the legs on earth's surface is the real Nala, because Devas won't touch their legs on earth's surface. Thus she married to Nala. The Devas took their real form and blessed the couples.